Therese Malten


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(b Insterburg [now Chernyakhovsk], East Prussia, 21 June 1855; d Neuzschieren, nr Dresden, 2 Jan 1930). German soprano. After studying with Gustav Engel in Berlin, she made her début in 1873 as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at Dresden, where she was engaged for the next 30 years. Richard Wagner heard her as Senta in a performance of Der fliegende Holländer at Dresden in September 1881 and invited her to Bayreuth the following summer to share the role of Kundry in Parsifal with Materna and Brandt. She also sang Kundry at Munich in the private performance of Parsifal given for King Ludwig (3 May 1884) and at the Royal Albert Hall, in the first concert performance in London (10 November 1884). She had previously made her London début at Drury Lane as Leonore in Fidelio (24 May 1882), a role she repeated in Munich (15 August 1884). At Dresden she sang Isolde (1884), Brünnhilde in Die Walküre and Siegfried (1885) and many other roles in French, Italian and German operas, ranging from C. W. Gluck's Armide to Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana (1891). Returning to Bayreuth she sang Isolde (1886), Eva in Die Meistersinger (1888) and Kundry for the last time in 1894. She also took part in the Ring cycles presented by Angelo Neumann in St Petersburg and Moscow (1889). Her voice was notable for its extensive compass; its middle register was described as rich and powerful and the higher and lower notes as equally strong and pleasing.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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